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Boris Johnson’s Special Constable pledge in tatters as numbers plummet 57% in Brent & 47% in Harrow

Boris Johnson’s Special Constable pledge in tatters as numbers plummet 57% in Brent & 47% in Harrow

 

The Mayor of London’s promise to “double the number of Special Officers to 10,000” looks to be in tatters after the Met’s latest figures showed that there are now only 3,253 Specials in the capital, 43% fewer than in May 2012 when he made the pledge. In Brent the number fell 57% from 175 in May 2012 to only 76 in December 2015. In Harrow the number fell 47% from 138 in May 2012 to only 73 in December 2015.

 

Special constables are volunteer police officers with all the powers of police officers. The falling number of special constables comes on top of significant cuts to the number of police community support officers (PCSOs) over the past few years. Met statistics show that in Brent since 2010 135 PCSOs and 703 Police officers have been cut from the streets, 29% of the original number. Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow Navin Shah, warned that the cumulative impact of the drop in Specials, PCSOs and police officers risks leaving a “much reduced police force for his successor.”

 

When the Mayor was re-elected in May 2012 there were 5,677 Specials in London, according to the latest figures there are now only 3,253. The figures represent an embarrassing failure for the Mayor who previously said that Specials represented a ‘vital link’ between the police and the public.

  

Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, Navin Shah AM said:

 

“In 2012 Boris recognised the significant role Special Constables play in providing an important link between the police and public and bolstering our police service. Despite his promise to double their ranks what we’ve actually seen is a dramatic and continuing fall in the number of Special Constables, including in Brent which has seen a 29% decline. At this rate he may well have less than half of what he started with by the time he leaves office.

 

“With PCSO and police officer numbers also in decline, the falling number of Specials should be of real concern. Boris should be asking why the Met is failing to attract enough people, is it because the opportunities are not well enough advertised or is the increasing pressure facing the police putting people off?

 

“Between the drop in Special and PCSO numbers, Boris looks set to leave a much reduced police force for his successor.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes

-       Figures on Police Officer and PCSO numbers can be found here.

-       A breakdown of the decline in Special Constables between 2012 and 2015 can be found below:

 

Month-Year

Brent

Special Constables

MPS Total

 
 

May-12

175

5,677

 

Dec-15

76

3,253

 

Decrease in Special Constables since May 2012

99

2,424

 

% loss

57%

43%

 


Source: Met datastore, accessed 02 March 2016

-       A breakdown of the decline in Police Officers and PCSOs between 2010 and 2015 can be found below:

 

 

Brent

MPS Total

 

Officers May 2010

703

33,147

PCSOs May 2010

135

4489

Uniformed Officers May 2010

838

37,636

Officers Dec 15

579

31,612

PCSOs Dec 15

16

1,663

Total Uniformed Officers Dec 2015

595

33,275

 

 

 

 

 

Police Officer Number decline since May 10

124

1,535

Police Officer % decline since May 10

18%

5%

 

 

 

 

 

PCSO Decline since May 10

119

2,826

PCSO % Decline since May 10

88%

63%

 

 

 

 

Uniformed Officer Decline May 10

243

4,361

% Uniformed Officer Decline

29%

13%

Source: Met datastore, accessed 02 March 2016

-       In his 2012 Crime Manifesto, available here, Boris Johnson wrote “I will aim to double the current number of Special Constables further to 10,000. Their remit will be to work in the evenings, on the transport network and with Safer Neighbourhood Teams.” (page 13)

-       In the same document the Mayor said Specials were a “vital link between the police and the public, strengthening the consent and support on which the police rely.” (page 13)

 
 

Mayor’s Policing Plan confirms cuts to Harrow’s Police Service

The Mayor of London’s Police and Crime Plan for London was launched earlier today. The plan confirms that Pinner Police Station front counter and Harrow Civic Centre front counter will close. Proposed ‘contact points’ will mean drastic reduction in opening hours for public access. The plan repeats the claim that Harrow will see an increase in police numbers, when in fact there will be a decrease of 10 police officers.

The new Police and Crime Plan repeats the claim that all of London’s 32 boroughs will see an increase in the number of police officer based in their borough. The Mayor has been previously criticised for this claim as it is based on police numbers in 2011, a low point for the Met following a recruitment freeze. Compared to 2010 17 of London’s 32 boroughs will see a decrease in the number of police officers, and the remaining boroughs will not receive as many extra officers as promised.

The plan also confirms that over 60 police stations and front counters will be closed, 12 stations earmarked for closure have been reprieved but more stations that were safe have been put on the list.

 For the Mayor to continue claiming that Harrow will see an increase in police officer numbers is misleading. Harrow will have 10 fewer officers once his plans are put in place. He is peddling his tired old line that his plan won’t cut frontline police services. It’s time he is honest with residents. He needs to let them know he has failed to get a good deal from the government and that we are now paying the price.

Pinner Police station’s front counter will be downgraded to a contact point with hugely reduced hours. How can a front counter be replaced with a contact point which has ridiculously reduced contact hours be sufficient for reporting crime? The proposed one hour contact time on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday is a joke, at the cost of residents. I’m baffled as the Mayor has stated that he is keen for the public sector to ‘share’ services but has chosen to go against the wishes of Harrow Council by closing the front counter provision at the Civic Centre. I deplore the reduction in police numbers and the plans to close Pinner Police Station front counter and Wealdstone Police Station which has already been closed. The Mayor’s Policing Plan seems to suggests the future closure of existing Harrow Police Station without stating any other replacement option which is worrying and against the wishes of local residents who have been clear in their opposition to the Mayor’s closure plans. The Mayor has told us that all police stations that would be closed would receive like-for-like replacements but today’s announcement shows this isn’t the case. Rather than wasting time promoting himself on the national stage, the Mayor should be paying attention to his day job and getting a better deal for Londoners from his colleagues in government.

There is no reference in the announcement about the future of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams. But, the Mayor is promoting, against the wishes of Harrow’s residents much depleted SNTs which would undermine local community policing and safety’’.

 

Notes

 Please find the plans for each individual borough here: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/policing-crime/mission-priorities/police-and-crime-plan

Mayor’s Policing Plan confirms cuts to police to Brent

The Mayor of London’s Police and Crime Plan for London was launched earlier today. The plan confirms that Willesden Green Police station will close. Also, Harlesden Police Station’s front counter will be downgraded to a contact point only with a drastic reduction in opening hours. It repeats the claim that Brent will see an increase in police numbers, when in fact there will be a decrease of 4 police officers.

The new Police and Crime Plan repeats the claim that all of London’s 32 boroughs will see an increase in the number of police officer based in their borough. The Mayor has been previously criticised for this claim as it is based on police numbers in 2011, a low point for the Met following a recruitment freeze. Compared to 2010 17 of London’s 32 boroughs will see a decrease in the number of police officers, and the remaining boroughs will not receive as many extra officers as promised.

The plan also confirms that over 60 police stations and front counters will be closed, 12 stations earmarked for closure have been reprieved but more stations that were safe have been put on the list. The Police and Crime Plan fails to provide any detail about these closures, it also fails to details where the new “Contact Points” will be based.

For the Mayor to continue claiming that Brent will see an increase in police officer numbers is misleading. Brent will have 4 fewer officers once his plans are put in place. He is peddling his tired old line that his plan won’t cut frontline police services. It’s time he is honest with residents. He needs to let them know he has failed to get a good deal from the government and that we are now paying the price.

Willesden Green Police station will close and Harlesden Police Station’s front counter will be downgraded to contact points with hugely reduced hours. How can a front counter be replaced with a contact point which has ridiculously reduced contact hours be sufficient for reporting crime? The proposed one hour contact time on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday is a joke, at the cost of residents. I deplore the reduction in police numbers and the future plans to close Harlesden and Kilburn police stations against the wishes of local residents who have been clear in their opposition to the Mayor’s plans. He told us that all police stations closed down would receive a like-for-like replacements but today’s announcement shows this isn’t the case. Rather than wasting time promoting himself on the national stage, the Mayor should be paying attention to his day job and getting a better deal for Londoners from his colleagues in government.

There is no reference in the announcement about the future of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams. But, the Mayor is promoting, against the wishes of Brent’s residents much depleted SNTs which would undermine local community policing.

 

Ends

 

Notes

  1. Please find the plans for each individual borough here: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/policing-crime/mission-priorities/police-and-crime-plan

Harrow Time: Drop in Police Numbers

 

harrow_times.gif

 

London assembly member, Navin Shah, criticises drop in police numbers across borough

By Suruchi Sharma

THE LONDON assembly member for Harrow and Brent has raised concerns on a drop in police officers across Harrow after new figures were released this week.

Figures published by the authority (MPA) shows there were 403 full-time warranted officers in Harrow in March last year compared to 369 in July this year - resulting in a drop of 34 full-time warranted officers, which does not include special constables or PCSOs.

The data shows a slight rise in numbers from July this year.

London Assembly member Navin Shah said: "The London Mayor's cuts to police in Harrow undermine the fight against crime and should be reversed.

"The mayor is taking a serious gamble with crime by reducing police numbers in Harrow."

A statement from the Mayor's office said: “The Met has over 1,000 police officers leave each year through retirement alone and it is misleading and inaccurate to suggest that this is because of budget cuts.

“The Mayor has in fact boosted the Met budget by £43 million this year, which enabled the Met to be one of the only forces in the UK to re-open their recruitment.

“These figures also do not take into account the hundreds of special constables who are currently training to become full time police officers.

“By March 2012 the Met will have well over 32,000 police officers, 1,000 more than when the Mayor was elected.”

 

Police Logo (Met).JPG

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23rd September 2011